The newest offering of Annie comes to the UK on the 26th December and features an updated version of the classic musical story of Annie. Quvenzhané Wallis is a charismatic lead in the film, though the music might not be to everyone’s taste given the greater RnB influence that you can hear from the very beginning.
It’s due to the chemistry of the cast that the film is enjoyable. Quvenzhané’s work with Grace and Will help to make the film compelling and fun for the family. Throughout the film you grow to care about what happens to Annie due to not only her spunk but also the believable acting the young Wallis is able to pull off.
I’d argue that beyond being a family film and a modern retelling of the famous musical, Annie doesn’t have that much to offer, and for the more discerning musical lovers the film will leave you wanting. The caricatures of the characters are humorous enough for children to enjoy watching. However, I still cannot decide wether or not the film wants to take itself seriously or not. One would think that being released during the holiday season would suggest otherwise.
Annie isn’t a film where I need to explain the plot of in depth, nor is it an adaptation where there is the need for in depth discussion of specific shots or scenes. In terms of the adaptation of the music, at some points I considered it perhaps too forced in everyday scenes, the RnB adaptation can be considered a bit too in your face, but even looking back at the classic Annie movie it wasn’t exactly the epitome of subtlety either, though I do think the original was fabulous. There are a lot of cut shots with the dancing and I’d suggest that the use of lip syncing instead of the live singing does the film a disservice, as slip ups made by the cast are more obvious.
All in all, Annie is a fun film to watch, and one that attempts to cater to as many people as possible. It’s not necessarily a ‘clever’ modern update which I was personally hoping for, and I think the film stumbles through enough bumps along the way to leave most people wanting. I think from watching the trailer (which I’ve attached below), you’ll know instantly wether this is your cup of tea, and if you’re thinking of watching it in order to experience a smart modern update of a musical, I’d dissuade you so you aren’t disappoint. However, that’s not to say it isn’t cute, lighthearted cinema, and all credit must be given to Quvenzhané Wallis for (only just) pulling the film through.